New Zealand's natural heritage threatened by 20 years of environmental inaction
May 30, 2012 11:54 AM - Editor, World Wildlife Fund
Less than a month before world leaders meet at a major environmental summit, a new report warns that New Zealand is failing to protect some of its iconic species and habitats following a series of broken promises made at the Earth Summit 20 years ago. 'Beyond Rio' is released today by global conservation organisation WWF ahead of next month's meeting on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro, the location of the groundbreaking 1992 Earth Summit. At the historic summit New Zealand signed up to a series of agreements to tackle climate change, conserve biodiversity and live more sustainably.
Greenland glacier melt was faster in 1930s than today
May 30, 2012 06:44 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
A chance discovery of 80-year-old photo plates in a Danish basement is providing vital new clues into how Greenland glaciers are melting today. Researchers at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark - that country's federal agency responsible for surveys and mapping - had been storing the glass plates since explorer Knud Rasmussen's expedition to the southeast coast of Greenland in the early 1930s. In this week's online edition of Nature Geoscience, Ohio State University researchers and colleagues in Denmark describe how they analyzed ice loss in the region by comparing the images on the plates to aerial photographs and satellite images taken from World War II to today.
Climate Change Doubt not due to ignorance of the science
May 28, 2012 08:11 AM - Staff, ClickGreen
A new study has dispelled the myth that the public are divided about climate change because they don't understand the science behind it. And the Yale research published today reveals that if Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning it would still result in a gap between public and scientific consensus. Indeed, as members of the public become more science literate and numerate, the study found, individuals belonging to opposing cultural groups become even more divided on the risks that climate change poses. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults.
Canada closing its marine pollution program
May 26, 2012 08:08 AM - Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com
Canada has been sending letters to government scientists notifying them that their jobs will be eliminated or affected by the closure of the country's marine pollution program -- but at least one isn't going without making some noise. "It's perplexing that we face the loss of this program, given the 25,000 chemicals on the market and the ever-increasing threats posed by shipping and oil and gas exploration and development in temperate and Arctic waters," Peter Ross told msnbc.com. Ross is perhaps Canada's best known marine scientist for his work on identifying killer whales as the most contaminated marine mammals on the planet. "As can be expected when one is told their position is being terminated, one is shocked and saddened," he added. "However, when told that the entire pollution research and monitoring program for Canada's oceans is being eliminated, I was speechless."
Rangers now allowed to shoot tiger poachers on sight in Indian state
May 25, 2012 08:32 AM - Rhett Butler, MONGABAY.COM
In the wake of a surge in tiger poaching, the state government of Maharashtra, India will no longer consider the shooting of wildlife poachers by forest rangers a crime, reports the Associated Press.
Majority of Americans Agree: Protecting the Environment Creates Jobs
May 24, 2012 08:25 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit
The majority of Americans (58 percent) think that protecting the environment improves economic growth and creates new jobs. The results are from a recently released poll by Yale University and George Mason University's climate change communication program. Only 17 percent of the poll's respondents think that environmental protection hurts the economy and job growth, and 25 percent think there is no effect. When there is a conflict between protecting the environment and improving the economy, 62 percent think it is more important to protect the environment, and only 38 percent thought economic growth is more important.
G8 Leaders Agree to Act on Climate, Air Pollution
May 23, 2012 09:01 AM - Edouard Stenger, Clean Techies
At the Camp David meeting last week, G8 leaders agreed to act on climate change and air pollution by focusing on methane, black carbon (soot), and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).
Charting a new environmental course in China
May 22, 2012 09:41 AM - Mark Szotek, MONGABAY.COM
Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) works in more than 30 countries and has projects in all 50 of the United States. The Conservancy has over one million members, and has protected more than 119 million acres of wild-lands and 5,000 miles of rivers worldwide. TNC has taken an active interest in China, the world's most populated nation, and in many important ways, a critical center of global development. The following is an interview with multiple directors of The Nature Conservancy's China Program. Mongabay: Please tell our readers about the background and history of The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) work in China. Zhang Shuang, Director of TNC China Program: Though TNC is a big international organization, we started small in China, in the critically important Northwest corner of the province of Yunnan. We were invited by the Yunnan provincial government to help them complete a regional conservation plan. That was in 1998. We still operate a number of projects in Yunnan but now have also expanded site work into Sichuan, Inner Mongolia, and the Yangtze River Basin. While the opportunities and need for addressing environmental challenges in China are enormous, we still try to focus our work on select areas, where we can really have an impact. This includes addressing climate change (through restoring forests and creating adaptation strategies), introducing new models of protected areas while strengthening existing conservation landscapes, and minimizing the impact of hydropower and other development in the Yangtze River Basin, China's heartland.
Why the best world-changing ideas begin in your neighborhood
May 22, 2012 09:31 AM - John-Paul Flintoff, Ecologist
Your ideas for changing the world may be desperately important. But if you can't find a way to engage the interests of the people around you they may never take off, argues John-Paul Flintoff. The environmental movement has often been guilty of making people despondent, either by talking about 'problems' in a way that makes listeners feel powerless, or by presenting solutions as miserable duties. It needn't be that way. Instead, we could try to make doing the right thing appealing, rather than merely necessary - and one way to do that is to offer people a chance to say hello to their neighbours.
Charcoal for African Cookstoves, What's the Story?
May 21, 2012 07:10 AM - Jen Boynton, Triple Pundit
You may have seen pictures of women in Africa cooking their daily meals on a small cookstove. These cooking implements look remarkably similar to the portable charcoal grills an American family might bring to the beach for an afternoon of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers. Imagine using one of these at your kitchen table to prepare nearly every meal of your life. In Mozambique (a coastal nation in Southwest Africa, just north of South Africa), the average lifespan is 47 years, the average income is $1 per day — minimum wage is a little more than double that, but high unemployment cuts the average in half. Charcoal is the cooking element of choice. Among market shoppers and sellers we met, charcoal was deemed to be the best cooking option because it is easily available and "not dangerous."